Suicides are a wake-up call: Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were successful and wealthy—just like so many top advisors’ clients. In the wake of their suicides last month, advisors shared their best practices for spotting and dealing with clients’ depression. One firm employs a “chief compassion officer” to look after clients’ emotional wellbeing. Another trains advisors to recognize shifts in clients’ thinking and behavior. An emerging best practice is to identify a trusted advocate ahead of time who can be contacted if and when trouble arises. “We’ve learned we have to really help with the emotional and social stuff,” says Brighton Jones CEO Charles Brighton. “I wish I had a degree in psychology more than a degree in finance.”
On a related note, we took a look at a flaw in Bourdain’s estate planning that could potentially allow his ex-wife to claim a third of his estate.
What a Justice Kavanaugh could mean: It’s looking like Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would be good for financial businesses, but perhaps not so great for their customers. Kavanaugh is known for a pro-business stance, and has an extensive record of overruling federal agency actions. “The fear is that he’s likely to roll back enforcement of securities laws and consumer-protection rules and stamp out important consumer protections in the process,” we wrote.
Top economists blister bitcoin: Three of the earth’s most respected economists predict bitcoin’s steep tumble in price isn’t over. Bitcoin has already plunged from a near- $20,000 high seven months ago to less that $6,000 at the end of June. But just wait until global regulators start turning the screws, say Joseph Stiglitz, Nouriel Roubini and Kenneth Rogoff. “Bitcoin could easily be worth just $100 in 10 years,” Rogoff says. “People in power will move to regulate anonymous transactions. That you can be sure of.” Roubini was blistering, noting that bitcoin is not even accepted at bitcoin conferences.
The growing green wave: Sustainable investing is the future—and Morgan Stanley’s chief sustainability officer has the slides to back it up. One of our most popular features this week was the deck Audrey Choi presented at Barron’s inaugural Impact Investing Summit. ESG is already big: sustainable assets in the U.S. were nearing $9 trillion two years ago. And demographic tailwinds involving women and millennials, Choi says, are poised to give it another leg up.
Have a great weekend everyone.